- Jaskulski three-peats as girls champion
- Milford’s Williamson wins first boys crown
The defending champion Tower Hill School girls and Caesar Rodney boys volleyed into Tuesday’s 2015 DIAA High School tennis championships at the University of Delaware neck-and-neck with … the Caesar Rodney girls and the boys of Tower Hill, respectively. And those divisional frontrunners each finished the day right where they started, with the Tower Hill girls taking home their sixth straight title and the Riders from CR repeating as boys State champions.
In a year that saw the Hiller ladies drop their first regular season match in four years, their scrappy tournament performance underlined the depth and heritage of a program that has continued to produce championship courts throughout the lineup. Their victory was ensured with victories by freshman Grace Dignazio over CR’s Hannah Morris in second singles, and the Hillers’ first doubles pairing of Taylor Reese and Barbara Fleming.
The Caesar Rodney boys entered the tournament undefeated, having dropped hardly a court through the regular season. They produced four finalists – a CR squad playing for a title at every slot except first singles. Two of those courts would prevail – the doubles pairs of Alex Feuerstein and David Haynes on one and Neil Patel and Cyrus Shanehsaz on two – providing the Riders with the margin necessary to bring the crown back home to Dover.
At the top of the draw, Wilmington Friends School’s Annie Jaskulski bested Charter School of Wilmington’s Grace Shiau, 6-1, 6-2, in a rematch of last year’s final. Jaskulski will join the Lady Blue Hens tennis squad as a freshman next year.
Colt Williamson of Milford faced eighth-grade phenom Robbie Ward in the boys first singles final, a thrilling slugfest, saw the junior Williamson win his first title with a 7-6, 7-5 squeaker. Singles 1 spectators marveled at the intensity and perfection of so many exchanges between these two top players.
Tower Hill’s Drew Manning on 2nd singles earned a spot in Tower Hill’s history books and gained a measure of revenge prevailing over CR’s Trey Parker, who had been victorious in their 2014 3rd singles finale. Drew, this year’s second singles champion, broke a 21-year-old record, becoming the first Tower Hill Boys Team player (playing singles or doubles) since 1994 to win a State Title.
The dominance exhibited by Tower Hill and Caesar Rodney has had many courtside observers wondering why the two teams must wait to face off in the state tournament. Unlike other sports, for reasons not entirely clear, Delaware high school tennis offers no upstate-downstate showdowns in the regular season, so the two squads only get to see each other once a year. So until the spring of 2016….